When Galen Weston took over the management of  Loblaw Companies Limited in 2007 many people wondered whether a younger person could put an innovative spin on an old established business-groceries. Weston refreshed the brand and emphasized corporate social responsibility and the environment bringing the grocery giant and affiliated stores including Superstore, T & T, Shoppers Drug mart,  No Frills, Joe Fresh and Super Valu into the 21st century.
As reported in the Vancouver Sun  the Loblaws brand is now taking another major shift by closing 22 stores and introducing home delivery to its markets. Calling the home delivery “new ways to make shopping easier” CEO Galen G. Weston is ramping up this service at the same time that Amazon has acquired thirteen Canadian locations through Whole Foods, suggesting that home grocery delivery could become commonplace as these two grocery giants jockey for market share.  Loblaws is  “partnering with California-based Instacart to deliver food and other pantry staples from Loblaws, Real Canadian Superstore, and T&T locations to customers in Toronto starting Dec. 6 and Vancouver starting in January.”
Grocery delivery has been rare in Canada, with limited locations offering the service. Locally Stongs on the west side provides grocery delivery, as well as Save-on-Foods.  Last March Walmart stated that it would offer limited delivery to some areas of  Toronto, while many grocers have focussed on online orders with in-store pick-up. Home delivery of groceries will eliminate one more reason to own a car, and could change how groceries are marketed, sold and delivered across Canada.


  1. The interesting / unfortunate aspect of using a third party service provider (Instacart) for the home delivery is that the on-line prices through Instacart will not be the same as either Loblaws in-store prices or its in-house Click and Collect prices, plus there’s also a delivery fee and a 7.5% service fee. Apparently, Instacart will have its own promotions.

    The Instacart delivery fees will range from a low of $3.99 (Canadian) depending on the size of the order and deliver time, to as high as $9.99 for one-hour shipments of an order of less than $35. And there will be an added service fee of 7.5 per cent of the value of the order. Home-delivered grocery prices will be higher than Loblaw’s regular prices.

    The other problem is that Instacart purchases will not earn or redeem PC points (and like all on-line purchases, you cannot use coupons) – but I suppose home delivery is a premium service and its target customer is not too concerned about price.

  2. Those of us of a certain age remember grocery deliveries, most famously from Woodward’s. Its partnership with Union Steamships (foot of Carrall) provisioned individual customers and logging camps up the coast for decades. Vancouverites would do their shopping in the Woodward’s basement, say “deliver it,” then go off and enjoy the rest of the day downtown. A hundred years ago, many many Vancouver grocers and bakers did home delivery too, using the ubiquitous telephone to take orders. Then, it was because housewives had no means to lug their groceries through the muddy streets; now, it’s because of … convenience? Because people are too busy writing long responses to Price Tags posts?

  3. “Home delivery of groceries will eliminate one more reason to own a car,”……..and another good reason to build Bicycle City where artisanal opportunities abound………….watch for fleets of Tesla Delivery Trucks………….all part of a revolution enabled by Microsoft and communications via the internet including this message. Expect transformations in land uses, old malls transforming into Bicycle Cities with layers of internet enabled transportation opportunities. All good for the environment!
    See https://pricetags.wordpress.com/2017/11/06/welcome-to-bicycle-city-an-essay-by-jeff-olson/

  4. I live in Bellevue (Seattle) and have been using Amazon Fresh grocery delivery for years now. At first, I was resistant to pay the fees, but now I pay the $12.95 USD monthly fee without flinching. My wife and I use the service 3-4 times a month and like the convenience of having groceries at the door when we get up in the morning. I’m surprised this hasn’t taken off in Vancouver.

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